Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act
Bill 23 is part of the Province’s Housing Supply Action Plan to create 1.5 million homes over 10 years. It received Royal Ascent on November 28th 2022.
Bill 23 introduces changes to the Planning Act, the Ontario Heritage Act, the Development Charges Act, the Ontario Land Tribunal Act, and the City of Toronto Act and Municipal Act. The full Act can be read here.
While Bill 23 aims to increase the speed with which new homes can be built in Ontario by reducing red tape and allowing for increased gentle density in urban areas, it also encourages sprawl, weakens environmental and heritage protections, greatly reduces the role of citizens in land use planning, and reduces development revenues to cities and municipalities.
Key changes to the Acts include:
- Restricting appeal rights of approved development applications, minor variances, consents, and municipal official plans, zoning by-laws, and zoning by-law amendments to specified parties.
- Restrictions on Conservation Authorities appeal rights.
- Changes to the Greenbelt act that would remove 7,400 acres of protected land for development and add 9,400 acres of protected land in other areas.
- Allowing up to three units per lot as of right for small scale residential uses where municipal servicing is available.
- Public meetings will no longer be required for draft plans of subdivisions.
- Adding caps for parkland dedications, and reducing fee rates for parkland dedications
- Reduction or exemption of development charges for certain residential development typologies, such as adding residential units to new or existing houses and providing rental units with three bedrooms.
- Adding caps to inclusionary zoning (inclusionary zoning requires new residential developments to include affordable housing units)
- Reducing Site Plan Approval scope for certain application typologies
Although Bill 23 has already received royal ascent, feedback on some of the changes yet to take effect can be submitted through to the Environmental Registry (ERO). The Canadian Environmental Law Association has a great resource page regarding which changes are still open for comment, with instructions on how to provide comments.
Petitions are also still available for signatures: https://act.environmentaldefence.ca/page/117064/action/1?ea.tracking.id=mappage
Legislative Assembly of Ontario Bill 23 https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-43/session-1/bill-23
CBC News Article on Bill 23 https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-passes-housing-bill-23-1.6666657
Canadian Environmental Law Association “Bill 23 Passed…. What Happens Next?” https://cela.ca/blog-bill-23-passed-what-happens-next/
City of Toronto – Staff Comments on Bill 23 https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-230130.pdf
Ontario Association of Architects – “OAA Responds to Bill 23” https://oaa.on.ca/Assets/Common/Shared_Documents/Government%20Relations/2022%2011%2016%20-%20Bill%2023%20Submission%20-%20Final.pdf